Mental Health Staticstics

Mental Health Definitions:

Mental Health:

is how we think, feel, behave, react and respond.


is an unpleasant feeling when you may feel worried, uneasy or distressed about something that may or may not be about to happen.


is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands from family, friends, health, and finances or within the community.

Work/Exam Related Stress:

is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them within the workplace or in their schools whether that is specifically during exams or not.


is when you have feelings of extreme sadness, despair or inadequacy that last for a long time.


is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them within the workplace or in their schools whether that is specifically during exams or not.

Suicidal Thoughts:

also known as suicidal ideation are thoughts about how to kill oneself, which can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration and does not include the final act of killing oneself. The majority of people who experience suicidal ideation do not carry it through.


A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as drugs or alcohol, however, there are other addictions that are not related to substances such as gambling.

Negative Body Image:

People with a negative body image feel that their looks do not measure up to what society, family, friends, and the media expect. There is a feeling of inadequacy when they compare themselves to others, which they tend to do more frequently than those with a positive body image

Low self-esteem:

A person with low self-esteem feels unworthy, incapable, and incompetent. In fact, because the person with low self-esteem feels so poorly about him or herself, these feelings may cause the person’s continued low self-esteem.

Common mental health problems are those that-

Mental health problems are now regarded as one of the most common forms of illness and disability. They account for over 30% of “years lived with a disability”, and in the UK mental illness now accounts for a bigger share of the overall burden of disease, than any other health condition, including heart disease and cancer.

  • Are most frequent and more prevalent; and
  • Are successfully treated in primary care settings like GPs rather than by specialists such as Psychiatrists

(NIAMH, 2009)



Children & young people

Have a mental health need at any one time (1 in 5 of the population)

  • An estimated one-third to two-thirds of children whose parents have mental health problems will experience difficulties themselves
  • More than 20% of young people are suffering “significant mental health problems” by their 18th birthday
  • 17% of men and 32% of women aged 35-44 show signs of depression
  • The rates of depression in Northern Ireland are closely associated with unemployment, low educational achievement, social deprivation and intergenerational influences from the troubles
  • The overall prevalence of mental health problems in Northern Ireland is estimated to be 20% higher than in England or Scotland with 30% less funding
  • The overall suicide rate in Northern Ireland is currently more than 3 times the rate of road deaths and in recent years there has been an increasing trend, particularly in men under the age of 35 years
  • The total cost of Mental illness in Northern Ireland is estimated at well over £3.5 billion per year, which in monetary value is equivalent to about 12% of Northern Ireland’s national income
  • Absenteeism for Anxiety, Stress and Depression cost the local economy £720 million. Add a small proportion of Skeletal absence to this figure and it would be estimated at nearer a figure of £1 Billion
  • This is costing businesses between £480 – £720 per employee, per day


In the latest survey conducted by NISRA in 2018/19 the following findings were published:

The main reason for absence was Anxiety/Stress/Depression/Other Psychiatric Illnesses accounting for a total of 268,334 working days lost
Below is a table of the age demographic and % of working days lost for Anxiety/Stress/Depression/Other Psychiatric Illnesses


% Lost

















% Lost






Working Days Lost per Staff Year 12.6
Percentage of Available Working Days Lost 5.8%
Estimated Lost Production (£ Million) £32.9
The headline absence level represents 5.8% of available working days lost and equates to approximately £32.9 million in terms of lost production. As in previous years, the main reason for absence was Anxiety/Stress/Depression or Other Psychiatric Illnesses.
The proportion of working days lost due to illnesses of this type was 38.7%, around one third with an average duration of 63.1 Days. With just over one-third of the working days lost were recorded as work-related stress.
Recent statistics indicate that for both the Private and Public sectors the total figure for lost income due to absenteeism to our local economy in 2018/19 was an excess of £900 million with an overall cost to the local economy of approximately 4.1 Billion.


A National survey conducted across 2000 young adults aged 16 -25 years in 2013 uncovered the disturbing truth that too many children with symptoms of anxiety or depression are being ignored. Furthermore they are being let down on an epic scale with thousands of teenagers suffering, mostly in silence. This can result in dreadful long term effects on the young people as individuals but also has a negative impact on their families and society as a whole.

  • 1 in 5 –felt sad, helpless, anxious or depressed
  • 1 in 3 –had self-harmed before they were 16
  • 1 in 3 –had suicidal thoughts or had attempted to take their own life.

The findings also identified the real need for mental health and wellbeing for 11 -17 year olds to be integrated into every aspect of their development particularly within Education. The survey also highlighted the need to move away from symptom management, to instead focus on education, prevention and early intervention. It is therefore essential that this situation is addressed immediately if we want our young people to have good mental health and wellbeing and become contributing adults in the future.
(Source: MindFull 2013)